Richland teacher named one of nation's top educators

NEA FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE -- Brian Sites, a social studies, mathematics, and technology educator at River's Edge High School in Richland, WA, will receive the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation's top educators at the NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala on Feb. 7, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence are given annually at the Foundation's black-tie event known as the Academy Awards of public education that attracts more than 800 national leaders from the public education, philanthropic, and business sectors. The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.

"Brian has been selected for this award by his peers because he has attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by his exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community," said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. "Honoring these educators is our way of thanking them for their excellent work."

Sites was nominated for the award by the Washington Education Association (WEA), the state's National Education Association affiliate.

"Brian has the personality to make learning fun, interesting, and relevant for his students," said Kim Mead, president of WEA. "He assesses students in a variety of ways to accommodate their diverse learning styles and lead them to higher levels of success."
The other four recipients are:

  • Kimberley Gilles, a language arts educator at Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA;

  • Eileen Sheehy, an Advanced Placement government and politics and U.S. government educator at Billing West High School in Billings, MT;

  • Kathleen Sims, an early childhood special education and school readiness educator at Foley Elementary School in Foley, MN;

  • Christopher Stone, a language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science educator at Pond Hill School in Wallingford, CT.

  • "We are pleased to honor these five teachers with the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence," said Marita Zuraitis, President and CEO of Horace Mann. "These educators teach a variety of topics, each playing an instrumental role in making sure the children of tomorrow are well-educated. Horace Mann is proud to showcase the great work done by these educators."

    In addition to the recognition, students and educators at the awardees' school received digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation. Students produced a video, which premiered during the gala, to honor their teacher. Watch the full video here.

    The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from NEA Member Benefits, the Horace Mann Companies, the Pearson Foundation, and California Casualty.

    For the first time, the educators' students, colleagues, and supporters were able to watch the celebration via a live webcast on the NEA Foundation's website. Watch an archived version of the entire program here.